Friday, May 6, 2016

Emergency Drinking Water Storage

When you begin emergency preparedness you should start with water. Without emergency drinking water storage you won't last long if a disaster occurs or there is some disruption in your water supply. Storing food for emergencies is what most folks think of first but water should be where you begin.

prepper, prepping, storing water

Drinking water storage is hard though, cause water is not the simplest thing to store. We all don't mind storing bags of beans or rice but water is bulky and requires safe conditions for it to remain drinkable.

Remember you need more than just drinking water. You need water for washing up and for flushing your toilet and don't forget your pets.

Instead of me telling you how exactly to store water I am giving you two great links for newcomers who are beginning to learn about storing water long term. Then I will show you how our family is storing our emergency water supply.

How To Store Water Long Term:

1. Guidelines from FEMA on storing water:

2. The Mormon channel has some easy basic no cost ways to start storing water: Self Reliance

3. Storing water does not have to be expensive. You can begin by using any sturdy plastic bottles from soda or juice that you properly clean.

4. If you are worried about any water leaking in the location your are storing water, you can use a rubber drip tray. I have done this in the bottom of a cabinet after I did have one of the grocery store containers spring a leak.

How We Store Our Emergency Water Supply:

1. When we began storing water, we just bought a few extra cases of water bottles, then we began stacking them up in the garage and we learned that was not good because our garage gets very hot in the summer. We still have some of that water and though we wouldn't drink it, it could be used for washing or flushing the toilets.

2. We have also bought the 2.5 gallon water dispensers from the market and those are problematic because they absolutely cannot be stacked in any way. I know this from experience and from dealing with discovering a cabinet with water leaking from these.

3. If you want to start storing very large amounts, you might have to go bigger. Though we have not yet bought a 55 gallon blue drum, we definitely will but without a cool place to store it, I want our primary drinking water to be stored in the house. We love the blue 7 gallon BPA free storage containers. We now have them across the bottom of our pantry cupboard for a total of five. If you are single or not able to lift these, Amazon has some in 2 1/2 gallon size that are very durable. There are so many options but these are working great for our conditions. We plan to add several more in the bottom of another cupboard in our service porch.

4. Find places that you can store cases of water in your house. For us we have a banquet in our kitchen that has lots of space under the benches. We can store 6 cases of water here as well as keeping the refrigerator in our garage full of them around our other food and drinks out there.

5. If you have an RV at your house like we do keep your tank full. For us that is 40 extra gallons of water. The water in the grey tank if full is an extra 30 gallons that could be used for flushing toilets.

6. Keep extra bottles of water in your freezer if you have room. These help keep an empty freezer cooler and run more efficiently.

Rotating Your Water Storage - Keeping Track Of Expiration Dates

When you store water you need to keep track of the expiration date either on the container or keeping track of when you stored it yourself. The links above will give you guidelines of how long you can keep your water and when you need to rotate it.

How we keep track is with a simple black Sharpie. I check the expiration date on the container and write it on the front so I can easily see it. For the large containers we fill ourselves, I just write the date of when I need to rotate it on the side with a sharpie. When it is time to rotate I just cross out and put the new year.

storing water, prepping, marking water containers
**Update  These water containers in the picture above leak terribly. I no longer save any of these. Choose the more hard sided gallon size or even better, the longer term containers you buy and fill yourself.

Read The Other Posts In Our Emergency Preparedness Series


  1. These are really good tips Elaine. Back in Idaho, there is a large Mormon population and they are very well organized and prepared for any emergency. They have storage rooms built into their homes and they do buy in bulk. It never hurts to be prepared!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  2. These are brilliant tips. I am considering buying a non electric emergency water filter to keep on hand. I am keeping my old expired one gallon water in containers for use, as you say, in washing hands, flushing toilets, etc.

  3. It's good to be aware of the weight of the water if you're storing on your interior home floors. You could have some issues with the flooring if there's too much weight in one area. Home flooring isn't meant for extremely heavy items in a small area. You could always reinforce the flooring in the crawl space if needed. We also have a 55 gallon rain barrel with a high quality water filter, as well as 1 gallon jugs on our concrete garage floor....

  4. Hard to imagine that you would need to keep drinking water in storage in this day and age where we can buy bottled water so readily, but given our mad weather, it pays to be prepared more than ever!

  5. Water storage is just like food storage which is essential in times of an emergency. We can never predict when we will ever fall into such an unfortunate situation so it is best to just be prepared early so as not to be stranded in a dire situation without any assistance around from anyone to help with our basic necessities.